Couscous with Prawns, Summer Vegetables and Wine


By Sally James

Israeli couscous is a larger grained “pasta” than regular couscous. It has delightful silky texture and meld with all kind of flavors served either hot or cold. I love wine to be the first liquid added to it after dry toasting the grains for just a minute – it adds a real vibrant freshness to the flavor, particularly a fruity dry white! My favorite for the recipes is South Australia’s wonderful dry Riesling such as the Rathbone.


For:  4 servings

  • 2 cups summer vegetables e.g. asparagus, zucchini, squash, peas chopped
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds optional
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 16 prawns peeled uncooked
  • 8-10 large fresh basil leaves torn
  • 1/2 lemon Juice and grated zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil




  1. Blanch vegetables until nearly cooked.
  2. Refresh in iced water, drain and set aside.
  3. Toast the couscous and fennel for 1-2 minutes in a dry saucepan, shaking pan over heat. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed.
  4. Add 1 – 1 1/2 cups cup salted water or stock and cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until tender, adding more water if it is absorbed before couscous is cooked.
  5. When couscous is nearly cooked, bring a splash more wine to the boil in a pan and add the prawns, cooking until opaque. Add the vegetables and cook just to reheat.
  6. Pour over the couscous with the basil, lemon juice and oil and toss to combine. Serve straight away and top with the zest.

Recipe notes

A simple and light dish made with large grained Israeli (pearl) couscous, prawns and summer vegetables. You can adapt the recipe with any vegetables and seafood or poultry and serve hot or cold. A wonderful dish to take on picnics or to group “bring a dish” celebrations.